Bradford Design Code: for new homes and streets in Bradford District

Establishing design code requirements for high quality streets and homes

Tibbalds was appointed as lead consultant by Bradford Council to develop an authority-wide Design Code as one of 25 Local Authorities selected by DLUHC to take part in the Pathfinder programme to pilot the approach set out within the National Model Design Code.

Project Deliverables:
Authority-wide Design Code with the aim to improve streets and homes within the Districts
City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council
Integreat Plus (engagement); Civic Engineers (streets and movement); AspinallVerdi, (viability, with cost input from Gleeds)
Bradford District

We hope the design code will facilitate the delivery of good quality housing across Bradford, which includes some of the most deprived urban neighbourhoods in the UK. The aim is to support the regeneration of these areas.

Bradford District Council

The focus of the code is to support the delivery of new housing development within the urban areas of the District to help regenerate some of the most deprived wards in the UK. It prioritises delivering good quality medium- and higher-density housing in sustainable inner- and outer-urban locations, within 15-minute walking of local facilities and public transport.

Once adopted, all new residential developments and new streets will need to meet the Code’s requirements.

The Code is as an addendum to ‘Homes and neighbourhoods: a guide to designing in Bradford’ which was also led by Tibbalds and adopted in early 2020. It takes forward the design principles and priorities set out in the existing document and asserts the minimum requirements for achieving good quality, sustainable development within the District. The list of requirements are the result of community and stakeholder consultation, and address issues that concern residents, such as energy efficiency and walkable streets, and will help planning officers to refuse poor quality development.

Through the code, we set out the basic requirements for good design, which are closely linked to the strategic, social and environmental objectives the local authority is working towards. These include making life healthier and happier; enabling environmentally friendly lifestyles; being fit for purpose and becoming part of the established positive local character. The design code is intended to be a crucial tool that translates these strategic priorities into practical design solutions.
Bradford District Council

The design code will be applied to all new housing and residential streets within Bradford’s settlement boundaries to help deliver sustainable development that will improve health and wellbeing, air quality, safety and biodiversity.

Embedding this design code in the planning process will be pivotal in helping to improving living conditions in some of Bradford’s key urban areas, offering a set of clear, practical, mandatory guidance for those bringing forward new housing. Local feedback is an important step in this process.

Ultimately, new homes and streets need to be focused on providing good amenity so that gentle densification in the areas that can support it will lead to environmentally, economically and socially sustainable places that makes urban living attractive and active travel and easier choice. The code sets out what is required from homes and streets at a minimum to achieve healthy, fit-for-purpose and attractive places to live, that address the needs of its population and lifts the quality of living in urban locations.

The proposed design code is one of the government’s Pathfinder programme projects, the second stage of DLUHC’s National Model Design Code testing.

The final Code is a short, concise 56-page document which uses a visually engaging combination of text, diagrams, and precedent images.

Core Team

Below are some of the key people that worked on this project.

Portrait of Katja Stille 2022

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Learn more about Bradford Design Code: for new homes and streets in Bradford District and other projects by contacting one of our team

Call Katja on 0207 089 2121 or email